Inspired by his own ambitions to be a better person than his circumstances and background have dictated, Jules Bishop has brought a unique, funny yet substantial coming-of-age tale to the screen. Young protagonist Kevin (Theo Barklem-Biggs, Hammer of the Gods) can’t seem to stay out of trouble despite his best intentions. When a drug deal goes wrong, Kevin finds himself in major debt to eccentric thug Ninja Nigel (Warren Brown, Luther), and will do just about anything to pay it off. But when he tries to burgle the wrong house, Kevin gets more than he bargained for from the elderly but tough-as-nails resident, Phil (Philip Davis, Being Human). Their resulting unlikely friendship is the very heart of the film.
Bishop writes with that coveted delicate balance of emotion and hilarity. While a very British comedy, Borrowed Time is a universally accessible story with very real characters. The wonderfully written script is brought to its full potential by Bishop’s direction, which always allows for perfect comic timing. This is even more impressive considering that the film is Bishop’s debut feature. Of course, the production is also led by a wonderful if unconventional leading man; Barklem-Biggs’ doe-eyed delinquent is oddly compelling, even as he makes the most stupid decisions. Meanwhile, Davis manages to offer a completely contrasting character in the angry, lonely Phil – though evokes just as much sympathy, and plenty of side-stitching laughs.
While the two leads offer reasons enough to see the movie, the supporting cast are just as noteworthy. Audiences will love Brown’s physical humour as the so-called “Ninja” Nigel – a character who manages to be ominous and ridiculous all at once. In one of the more serious roles, Juliet Oldfield (Top Boy) anchors the film in the real world with her portrayal of Becky, Kevin’s long-suffering older sister.
Borrowed Time is a big comedy with big heart. As Bishop’s debut and a low-budget film that has struggled through production for years, this is truly an incredible feat. This movie has all the makings of a cult classic, and an underdog charm that is sure to win over British audiences.
Borrowed Time is released nationwide on 13th September 2013.
Watch the trailer for Borrowed Time here: